(RxWiki News) In the last couple of weeks, two COVID-19 vaccines have shown serious promise in early tests. An effective vaccine would be a huge step forward in the fight against the global coronavirus pandemic.
Major pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have announced that their COVID-19 vaccine candidates are more than 90 percent effective in live tests so far.
Previously, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would be happy with a vaccine that was 60 percent effective. And the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that a COVID-19 vaccine should be at least 50 percent effective to be approved.
These new vaccine results appear extremely promising, but the FDA still has to review the safety findings for both vaccines to determine whether it is safe to offer the vaccines to people who are not involved in a controlled vaccine trial.
The goal of Operation Warp Speed, the CDC's COVID-19 vaccination development initiative, is to have a vaccine available before the end of 2020. According to the Associated Press (AP), if the FDA grants an emergency use authorization (EUA) to these vaccines, "limited, rationed supplies" would be available before the end of the year. Health officials said they hoped to have 20 million doses of each vaccine available for use in December.
At the time of publication, it wasn't clear who would receive these limited vaccines first, but some health officials said they hoped to target health care workers and those who are older than 65 — two groups that have faced higher risks from COVID-19 during the pandemic.
According to the CDC, qualified health centers, hospitals, pharmacies and doctors' offices will be among the distributors of approved COVID-19 vaccines.
The studies of these vaccines are ongoing, so the rates of coronavirus infection might change. And it's not yet clear how long the immunity from these vaccines will last.
Both possible vaccines would require recipients to receive two shots a few weeks apart, the AP reported.
At this point, no COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the FDA.
Ask your doctor any questions you have about COVID-19 and how to stay safe.